news 6 days ago

Job Sharing Technology Helps to Put Moms Back in the TV Workforce

Variety — Valentina I. Valentini

In order to combat the drop-out rate of women in the television industry, a new initiative has been launched Friday by Share My Telly Job (SMTJ) and The Talent Manager. Within the TV production sector, there is a growing recognition among recruiters that job sharing could help curb the negative effects of parental leave as well as up productivity within production. This is highlighted by the fact that only 11% of women working in the U.K. film and TV industry are parents.

The two organizations have teamed up to launch pioneering technology across both websites that allows two TV freelancers to apply for a gig together. On the flipside, it allows production companies and broadcasters to advertise such positions. The software will also identify both experienced job sharers and companies with a proven track record for providing job-sharing opportunities. This is all in hopes of improving diversity within the industry, including search functionality that aids in the identification of best production talent with BAME backgrounds or with disabilities.

The challenges with parents working in the industry include excessive hours, long working weeks and childcare options. A recent survey of screen professionals found that 82% said their careers had been negatively impacted by their responsibilities as parents and carers.

SMTJ is collaborating with 35 production companies to aid in this initiative, including Crackit, RDF, Hungry Bear, EndemolShine, Studio Lambert, Optomen, ITV Studios and WalltoWall.

The new online functionality is the latest in a series of collaborations between SMTJ and The Talent Manager.

“Job sharing in television is a proven concept and there are more and more enlightened employers who are now seeing the benefits,” said Louise Patel of Share My Telly Job. “It enables the industry to retain talent, encourage diversity and address the issues of gender pay disparity and equality.”

Added Sarah Lee of The Talent Manager: “For all its creativity, the TV industry has often not been very creative when it comes to thinking about recruitment. Successful job sharing has been shown to benefit the productions, and the bottom line. ‘’With more and more production companies out there, the best freelancers increasingly have a choice as to who they work for. Those employers who embrace flexible working and create a supportive and nurturing work environment tend also to be the ones picking up the gongs come awards’ season.’’

The function goes live across the websites today and follows the launch of the Diversity Search Engine, which helps stakeholders find the best freelance talent from underrepresented groups, and the Diversity Dashboard, which gives The Talent Manager companies extensive information about the diversity of the freelancers they work with including by ethnicity, religion, age and social background, so that they can better address their own recruitment short failings.

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